Canine MENSA: How Smart Is Your Owner?

 |  Nov 16th 2009  |   2 Contributions


smart_dogHi Dogsters-Bo here.

We've received so many comments on the How Smart Is Your Dog post, many questioning the validity, that I thought it's important to give a dog's perspective about the whole thing.

The article lists the so-called smartest and not-so-smart breeds, but what about all the mixed breeds? I mean c'mon....I wrote a book, that takes intelligence, and a little help typing with these non-opposable paws of mine. So, here's another test, this one is to see how smart your owner is.

Why are our owners so obsessed with finding out how intelligent we are? All they need to know is that we got it going on upstairs. How else to explain us living in their homes, eating their food and having them pick up our feces? And all of that without us paying them a dime.

In the interest of giving my parents some bragging rights, I decided to take this Canine IQ test. Lets go question by question and see how I fared.

Test 1: Food under can

This is a test of your dogs problem solving ability.

How to do the test

1. First sit the dog, if it wont stay youll need someone to hold the dog by the collar.

2. Show the dog the tidbit of food and let it sniff it.

3. With the dogs full attention, slowly place the tidbit on the ground about two meters away and place the can over the tidbit.

4. Start timing and encourage the dog to get the food.

Scoring: If the dog knocks the can over and gets the tidbit in 5 seconds or less 5 points; 5 to 15 seconds 4 points;15 to 30 seconds 3 points; 30 to 60 seconds 2 points; [over 60 seconds and it's still looking for the treat? Then we'll give the dog a point for being able to breath on its own]

No need for a stop watch on this one. Ill sit and wait until my owner picks up the can and gives me the treat underneath it. No energy exerted, maximum treat scored = genius but the scoring on this test will give me:

+0 points for being lazy

Test 2: Dog under towel

This is another measure of your dogs problem solving ability.

How to do the test

1. Your dog should be awake and reasonably active

2. Let the dog sniff the towel

3. With a quick smooth motion throw the towel over the dogs head so its head and shoulders are completely covered (you may want to practice this without the dog first). Start timing and watch silently.

Scoring: If the dog frees itself in 5 seconds or less 5 points; 5 to 15 seconds 4 points;15 to 30 seconds 3 points; 30 to 60 seconds 2 points

I think the test results on this one are hinged on your dog should bereasonably active. At my age, if someone throws a towel on me its because Ive wet myself not because my teacher sprung a surprise quiz on me. Ill gracefully bow out of this question. That way I dont have to worry about someone throwing a towel at me and turning out the lights as Im walking toward a stairwell. Canine IQ score for this question:

+0 points for being safety conscious

Test 3: Can your dog recognize a smile?

This is a test of social learning.

How to do the test

1. Pick a time your dog is sitting about 2 meters away from you

2. The dog must not have been told to stay or sit

3. Stare intently into your dogs face, when your dog looks at you, count silently to 3 and then smile broadly

Scoring: If your dog comes with tail waging 5 points; If your dog comes slowly or only part of the way with no tail waging 4 points; If your dog stands or rises to a sitting position but does not move toward you 3 points; If your dog moves away from you 2 points; If your dog pays no attention 1 point.

Why should I start wagging my tail if I see my owner smile? The only reason I can think of is if hes got spinach or pesto between his teeth that hes going to let me pick clean.

A more appropriate test would be to see if, after a dog farts, his owners facial expression changes. If Rover wags his tail in less than 10 seconds, not only is he capable of social learning but hes also the proud owner/operator of a highly efficient fart power plant. Resulting Canine IQ score:

+0 points for being emotionless

Test 4: Retrieving from under a barrier

This is a test of your dogs problem solving and manipulation ability.

How to do the test

1. Make sure your dog is watching you from nearby

2. Show your dog the tidbit of food and let it sniff it

3. With the dogs full attention, slowly place the tidbit just far enough under the table that the dog can use its paws to retrieve it

4. Start timing and encourage your dog to get the food

Scoring: If your dog uses its paws to retrieve the food in 60 seconds or less 5 points; If your dog uses its paws to retrieve the food in 1 to 3 minutes 4 points; If your dog uses its muzzle only and fails to get the food or if it uses its paws and hasnt retrieved the food after 3 minutes 3 points; If your dog doesnt use its paws, simply sniffs and gives one or 2 points wo tries with its muzzle; If your dog has made no attempt to retrieve the bait after 3 minutes 1 point

Why would I want to lift a couch, table or any other object to get a treat when I can just stare my mother in the eyes and will her to give me bologna? Manipulation, yes, but not how this test wants to see it. Regardless, Im on the scoreboard:

+1 point for being spoiled rotten

Test 5: This is a test of language comprehension

How to do the test

1. Your dog should be settled comfortably around two meters in front of you

2. In the voice tone you use to call your dog call refrigerator

Scoring: If the dog shows response to come 3 points; If the dog does not come, call movies in the same tone. If the dog comes 2 points; If the dog still has not responded call its name. If the dog comes or shows any tendency to move to you 5 points; If the dog has not moved, call its name a second time. If the dog comes 4 points;If the dog still doesnt come 1 point

When I hear the word refrigerator I always respond with, Could you bring me the tub of Ben & Jerrys ice cream? If the answer is yes, Ill move to an upright sitting position. If the answer is no, Ill continue to lay flat like a bear rug. Canine IQ points scored:

+1 point for waiting to be served

So lets tally that upnuthin, nuthin, nuthin, woof, woof = 2 woofs. Impressive. Most impressive.

Let me look at the scoring chart to see where that places meOops, it appears our reporter forgot to include it. Nice move genius!

Bo cover smGrab a copy of my new funny dog memoir BAD TO THE BONE: Memoir Of A Rebel Doggie Blogger for yourself or the dog lovers in your life. Its the pawfect stocking stuffer. Order now...click here!

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